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Body Clock Blood Test

September 20, 2018

A new blood test can monitor our internal clock.



Your body’s personal clock. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

No matter what the clock says, I’m always running on Central Bob Time. In fact, everyone has their own circadian clock that orchestrates such things as hormone levels and body temperature, according to Northwestern biostatistician Rosemary Braun.

ROSEMARY BRAUN (Northwestern):

And it’s really important for your health that all of those processes be synchronized and aligned so that they occur at the time that they are supposed to occur and that’s what the clock does.


In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, she and her colleagues describe a simple blood test that reads your body clock by measuring the activity of 40 different genes. Since a misaligned clock can increase the risk of many illnesses, a test that lets doctors measure and track their patients’ circadian clocks could help them personalize and improve health care. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon